Dionysos in Classical Athens: An Understanding Through by Cornelia Isler-Kerényi

By Cornelia Isler-Kerényi

Dionysos, along with his following of satyrs and ladies, used to be a huge subject in an important a part of the determine painted pottery in 500-300 B.C. Athens. As an unique testimonial in their time, the imagery on those vases exhibit what this god intended to his worshippers. It turns into transparent that - opposite to what's frequently assumed - he used to be not just acceptable for wine, wine indulgence, ecstasy and theatre. quite, he used to be found in either the private and non-private sphere on many, either satisfied and unhappy, events. moreover, the vase painters have emphasised various points of Dionysos for his or her clients in and out of Athens, counting on the political and cultural scenario.

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B. side view (right). c. side B: Hephaistos. d. side view (left). 8 One of the satyrs, carrying a heavy volute krater, looks out of the image and in doing so directly addresses the viewer (Figure 17). 8 Compare Carpenter 1997, pl. 1B, 2A, 7A–B, and, more than a generation earlier, the frieze of the Siphnian Treasury, limc iii, Dionysos 651. 7); ba 205992. 9 On the one side we see Hephaistos, preceded by Hermes. Rather clumsily in sidesaddle, he rides towards Hera stuck to her throne. Dionysos, visibly intoxicated, is the central figure on the other side.

Cups are by far the most numerous, with almost one third of the total production as known to us. Vessels for mixing wine and water come next; there are about half as many as there are cups. Already in the 6th century, however, a difference was made between the sumptuous, ornate and expensive volute kraters and the more modest column kraters. The calyx krater came into use around 540 BC, at a time when the image repertoire, too, saw 1 Personal communication from Thomas Mannack, 18 March 2013, for which I am most grateful.

All four are named. Each is engaged in a different activity: one of them plays the aulos; the second raises a skyphos (a drinking vessel mostly associated with women); the third, spinning her cup with her right hand, is playing kottabos; the fourth is drinking from her skyphos. She has a cup in her right hand and looks out of the image, straight at the viewer. She is the only one to wear a decorated diadem on her uncovered hair, instead of a cap with a wreath (Figure 11). 51 One has a cluster of succulent grapes (executed in relief ) in his left hand and puts one of them into his mouth with 50 Scheibler 1983, 18 and 21, fig.

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